Because The Bartender and I didn't take a vacay last year, I had a week to spare before the 2011 bell tolled. The timing for this stayworkcation suited me fine. We'd been having a rough go of it lately, as sometimes happens when you spend most time apart and only tense time together. Absence may grow a heart fonder in some cases. In ours, the awkwardness of this new separation overwhelmed and we needed a few tug-o-wars to reach the strength of a new standing. All was for the better. But, I'd be damned if I didn't share that it's a painful and tiring process. These emotions. They surely are suckers of a good time, sometimes, aren't they?
Although I wasn't typing the day away behind my desk, I was put to work.
Behind the bar serving Jager Bombs and domestic brews and being told that my pour was too light by someone who had tipped me $4 on a $7 tab just hours before. What a difference a dinner makes...
Behind the wheel of PerryA's car, rushing to gather change for a busy shift.
Behind in my knowledge of plumbing, smack-dab in a Sears Hardware aisle, searching for a flushy part for the men's toilet. Not one or two, but three trips to said aisle later we'd bought a third handle-lever-thingamajig, slightly different than those tried before, and good enough to rig the can for a proper flush.
Behind armfuls of boxes filled with paper goods for the loo and napkins for the bar, after two trips with PerryA to dusty, daunting storerooms where everything is oversized and intimidating and the men mockingly complain that "I knew you were trouble when you walked in."
And, friends, you know what? I loved every freakin' moment. Whiling away my days behind a desk, a daze-worthy amount of miles away from The Bartender and all that's Bitter, hasn't been easy. I feel like it's all passing me by and he carries the burden of the business to an unfair extent. In those eight days, I was able to serve when he needed to check inventory or ring reps. I could run out to grab...I could help him and PerryA string lights across the room for New Year's Eve. I could simply sit near him and rub his neck when his sighs worry. I was there.
Those eight days rejuvenated us. The tension has ceased. The I'm just gonna complain at you cuz I am overworked and under-slept and have no one else to unload on bickering dissolved. In its place is the usual tender moments we sneak when only our eyes are meeting.
We spent New Year's Eve at the Bitter bar, listening to favorite music, surrounded by so many friends as well as many new faces now familiar. Oh, and I was there to pour and pass the sparkling wine to all of those smiling faces, relieving those Bitter bartenders of the duty just before the bells sounded and the glittery ball dropped.
Cheers to 2011! Thank you for starting this journey with us. In the months ahead, I hope to continue quenching your thirst with a tale interesting, served with a smattering of drink recipes enticing. I know not of what's ahead. I sure hope you're just as curious as we are.